Message of the Secretary General

Engr. Mohamed Saleh Badri
International Halal Accreditation Forum

The global halal industry is growing at an unprecedented pace. Statistics show that the halal food sphere alone is valued at $1.1 trillion globally and it is projected to grow up to $1.6 trillion by 2020. The business interest in producing Sharee’a-compliant food could be observed in the course of the trade: around 75 to 80 percent of imports are sources from countries outside the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

While food comprises a significant portion of the industry, the concept of halal has continuously expanded through the years and it is now covering sectors such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, leather and textiles, tourism, banking and finance, among others. The trade volume for overall halal food and lifestyle sector amounted to $1.8 trillion in 2014 and it is estimated to be valued at $2.6 trillion by year 2020.

The Muslim population has always been the priority of the industry but this impressive growth rate has also been reflective of the global attention it has been drawing from non-Muslims who patronize halal products—which is quite understandable.

In this day and age of healthy living, people are now more conscious of what they buy and eat. Going halal has always been a smart way to go healthy, considering the stringent safety measures in place to assure that the products are Sharee’a-compliant and are of the best quality.

While the Islamic Economy can be considered an excellent opportunity to promote the halal industries and halal-based business across the world, it faces structural and operational challenges in the area of regulation, standardization, compliance, supply chain integrity, innovations, research and development, consumer education and awareness.

Despite the challenges, the growth rate of halal products and services has been significantly high. It is high time that a committed global effort among governments and all halal stakeholders be done. It is about time that we establish innovative, reliable compliance schemes that are acceptable to one and all.

Standardization is key to the halal value chain. It is vital for the industry to have unified schemes that assure the development of adequate specification, requirements, and implementation of suitable verification systems. Many OIC conferences have been held, and in each of them, the urgent need for adequate solutions arises.

A top recommendation has always leaned on the establishment of a body that assures the competency of conformity assessment bodies involved in the halal value chain. To fulfill such a necessity, the UAE has initiated the establishment of the International halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF) that takes into its fold accreditation bodies that are responsible for their business economies.

The primary objective of establishing IHAF is to build and maintain confidence in services provided by conformity assessment bodies that monitor the production of products bearing halal certificates and halal marks around the world by harmonizing conformity assessment practices in the halal field. It also seeks to forge multi-lateral recognition agreements between accreditation member bodies, thereby facilitating halal trade in their business economies and for the rest of the world.


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